I did not see any lucky cat in Washington DC but good luck still allowed me to come across a Pocky chocolate box on January 1, 2016 - at Forever 21, its Washington's Metro Center shop, a block from Ford's Theater, where Lincoln was shot in 1865, just a 15-minute walk from the National Museum of American Indians - always my first stop when I visit DC.
I have just returned from Washington, DC, USA and as I am putting these thoughts onto virtual paper, the Last Samurai take their last stance on my TV screen: their world no longer belonging to them/they no longer belonging to the world they inhabit.
Pocky, you know, is the Japanese version of chocolate covered bisquit sticks you can get at your average German supermarket, a sweet reminder of my days in Japan that I kept alive every time I watched NHK in my hotel room at Dupont Circle during the last nine days I spent in the USA - in its presentations so very different from the every-other-minute-commercial-break-made-in-the-USA (TV).
The cup you see in the upper picture represents the Pendelton Blankets that have become popular among Native Americans ever since they traded buffalo skins for those trade goods: colonization and cultural assimilation, you know? I miss going to powwows.
The third item is a Starbucks X-mas tumbler from Japan with a mother polar bear and baby cub - a gift from my daughter in Tokyo: I took it with me all the way to America because it is the one thing that brings together all three countries the cultures of which I wish I could mix and match at my will to create my home.
As I return to Grayville, into a cold apartment, I feel - once again - how out of place I am. There seems to be no place for me right now where I feel totally at home. Bathed in a cold, clear blue sky at my arrival, Grayville might hold sweet memories of filmmaking with my friends and beloved students; yet, it more distinctly represents many darker shades of life: expectations of neighbors, parents, institutions, memories of places walked by with the person/s I ....associate with that dreadful loss of love... and the desire to escape to the one place where harmony felt possible:
Sakura...Sakura blossoms at Arlingon National Cemetery, the Washington Monument and the peach blossoms in front of the Air & Space Museum remind me of the fleetingness of life and the adoration of its temporariness in the parks/by the people of Tokyo. Oh, how I miss them - and the warmth of sunshine on my skin!
I wonder if (and how) people can exist "out of place" and I am amazed by how deeply disurbing it is to experience exactly that: to be out of place, to not even be able to return to the place you where chosen to be "by destiny" (or birth) at home so as to restore some balance.
This, you know, is a feeling I share(d) with many people in the year 2015, though - undoubtedly - from a privileged position. The difference may be how (and where) we see our future. Airports are places of transition, perhaps with one difference to life in general: you must know your destination and buy a ticket before you enter the gates.
On this afternoon of profound culture shock, of unfathomable loss - because this "cultural hybrid" of place I desire has never existed in reality - I profess that to be out of place is scary. I am trying to hold on to the symbolizations of those places of identity that are me.
Unfortunately, they are just tokens of what is not. Which is why I feel ....LOST.